Nightmares are often confused with sleep terrors. However, sleep terrors are episodes of extreme panic and confusion associated with vocalization and movement. Individuals who experience sleep terrors are difficult to arouse, and console, and do not recall a dream or nightmare. Unlike dreams and nightmares, most episodes begin within the first 1 to 2 hours of non-REM sleep. Dreams and nightmares occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and are more frequent during the second half of our time spent asleep. In view of the benign and self-limited nature of sleep terrors, most individuals require no specific medical or psychological intervention other than reassurance and education.
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